Chester the Lab Enjoys Holiday Turkey
Don't Thaw Your Thanksgiving Turkey Outside
Thursday we will be celebrating Thanksgiving and already our turkey is beginning to thaw. Ingles, a grocery chain here in the Carolina's, allowed shoppers to earn points to receive a free Butterball turkey. Shoppers had to earn a total of six points while doing grocery shopping at any of their stores in order to receive a 12-14 pound turkey for "free". I picked mine up earlier today and it is a beautiful bird weighing in at 14.31 pounds. Thanks to a helpful check out clerk who informed me I had a fresh turkey in my cart and not one of the frozen ones in the promotion, mine was hand picked just for me. No problem, I am a man and not much of a shopper.
Several years ago we had a Black Labrador which was given to my son who is visually impaired by a relative. Gary loved that dog and named him Chester after the Gunsmoke character who was Marshall Dillon's deputy and side man. Chester became a great pet for our son. We live in a rural area and never thought about putting him on a chain but allowed him to run free. He would lie in the yard on sunny days rarely venturing too far away from our house but would go down to the river to get water and chase the birds feeding on grains of corn lying in the fields harvested in the fall. My wife's brother built Chester a house but he rarely stayed stayed in his nice new home.
One day Chester was lying near the carport when my wife left to go to town. When she returned home a couple of hours later Chester hadn't moved from where he had been when she had left. She reached down to give him a playful pat on the head,and noticed there was a small animal trap attached to his front paw. She asked me to check Chester's foot and upon closer examination I discovered it was a trap that had been set by a trapper along the banks of the small creek just below our house and appeared to be for a muskrat. The trap appeared to be old and rusty apparently long forgotten by the trapper who had set it hoping to catch a muskrat for its hide. As gently as I could, I removed the trap.Chester seemed to be greatly relieved as I took the pressure off releasing the trap's grip and whimpered a little sigh as I tossed it onto the carport. Fortunately, the trap was a minor inconvenience for Chester and had not broken any bones in his paw.
Thanksgiving came that year and as has become our tradition we had one of those Ingle's turkeys. It was a little unusual for her but my wife decided to let the turkey thaw on the picnic table on our deck overnight. It was still frozen and in the plastic wrap just as it had come from Ingle's in a metal pan. When she went to get the thawed turkey Thanksgiving morning to begin preparing it for our dinner Chester was sitting on the deck smiling. At some point during the night even though it was a safe distance from the deck floor and on a table Chester had discovered the bird and helped himself to an early Thanksgiving meal. Our turkey was now lost to a Black Labradors natural instict and appetite. He hadn't eaten all of it and the leftovers would also be his minus any stuffed dressing and cranberry sauce.
Hoping all of you have a great Thanksgiving but if you have a Black Labrador, don't leave a big old hen or a tom lying around where he can get to it. I still smile at the remembrance of Chester who ate one of our Thanksgiving turkeys.
More by this Author
Where the Red Fern Grows has long been a favorite movie of mine. The story is about a boy and his hounds which he had ordered and trained to hunt coons. My uncles always had hunting dogs.
Pet like humans go to the bathroom only outside. Many cities now have curb laws to insure pedestrians do not accidentally step into the feces left by dogs.
As a youngster watching my Grandmother churn by the old wood kitchen stove remains a fond memory.